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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021

Two HVO scientists traverse the down-dropped block of Kīlauea’s caldera with MultiGAS instruments for measuring
 volcanic gases. Rising gases interact with and alter surrounding rocks, resulting in the light-colored ground the scientists
 are walking on. See more below.  USGS photo by K. Mulliken on July 22, 2021

TOWER DEVELOPMENT, INC., WHICH HAS OFFERED TO WORK ON DEVELOPMENT AT PUNALU'U in Kaʻū, has been recommended for redeveloping Uncle Billy's Hilo Bay Hotel and Country Club Condominium Hotel properties on Banyan Drive in Hilo. The evaluation committee selecting Tower was chosen by state Board of Land & Natural Resources' Chair Suzanne Case. The committee is comprised of representatives of County of Hawai'i's Banyan Drive Hawai'i Redevelopment Agency, state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism and DLNR. The properties, along with the golf course across the street, are owned by State of Hawai'i.
    Eva Liu, owner of the undeveloped Punalu`u resort, commercial. residential and golf course properties, said Tower Development's leader Ed Bushor offered to work with her in Kaʻū but they never came to an agreement. She said she is working directly with community members to solicit ideas and opinions on the future of the Punalu'u property.
    In Hilo, Bushor was connected to Ed Olson, who owns Kaʻū Coffee Mill and some 8,000 acres in Kaʻū. Olson invested in Bushor's redevelopment of the Naniloa, turning it into Grand Naniloa Hotel, a Hilton Doubletree branded property. 
    Hilton branding could be the future of Uncle Billy's and Country Club Condominium Hotel, under a Tower proposal. Olson said he has no plans to invest in the Uncle Billy's and Country Club redevelopment projects.
    The DLNR committee selected Tower's hotel proposal for both properties over one plan to turn Country Club into 65 affordable apartments for seniors and another proposal to turn Country Club into a 165-unit Pagoda Hotel.
    The state is considering long term leases to incentivize private investors to put up the capital to rebuild the properties, create jobs and bring income to the state. With the evaluation committee's recommendation in hand, the Board of Land & Natural Resources will make the final decision as early as its meeting on Sept. 26. 
    According to a DLNR statement last week, Tower is the only company proposing to rebuild the Uncle Billy's site. Tower is in competition with two others for the Country Club Condominium Hotel property. Tower's Grand Naniloa sits between Uncle Billy's and Country Club. 
     See Tower's proposal for Country Club at  https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ld/files/2021/09/Tower-Development-Inc.-Country-Club-Proposal.pdf. See Tower's proposal for Uncle Billy's Hilo Bay Hotel at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ld/files/2021/09/Tower-Development-Inc.-Uncle-Billys-Proposal.pdf.
    A Country Club Condominium Hotel proposal also comes from Paul Fortino, of MacDonald Ladd Development, LLC. in Tacoma, WA, with partner Southport Financial Services. They propose rehabilitation of the County Club Condominium Hotel for 60 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units for affordable senior housing.  The proposal says, "There is a dire need in Hawai'i for new, permanent affordable housing for seniors, a demographic that is rapidly growing and perpetually rent burdened." The proposal notes long-term experience in affordable housing in Hawai'i.
    Fortino said his group declined to bid on Uncle Billy's site. Putting in elevators would be required, making it cost prohibitive for affordable housing, says the proposal.
    In Hawai'i, Southport, which specializes in rehabilitating and building affordable housing, owns or partners in 36 elderly units and 81-multifamily units in Hilo and 72 units of senior housing in Waipahu. In June, Southport announced 40 units of new construction in Honolulu. Across the country, Southport owns or partners in 20,411 units, according to https://www.sphome.com/portfolio/?location=ks3. See the MacDonald Ladd/Southport plan for Country Club Condominium Hotel at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ld/files/2021/09/MacDonald-Ladd-Dev.-LLC-Country-Club-Proposal-REDACTED.pdf
     The other bidder for the Country Club property is Honolulu based Peter Savio, who, over the years, has rehabilitated buildings for affordable housing.       In Kaʻū, Savio proposed to subdivide coffee lands above Pāhala and succeeded in agricultural land subdivisions and sales along South Point Road. Savio proposes a Pagoda Hotel for Country Club Condominium Hotel. See his proposal to DLNR at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ld/files/2021/09/Pagoda-Hilo-Bay-LLC-Country-Club-Proposal-REDACTED.pdf

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

STACY HIGA, WHO HELPED BUILD NĀ LEO TV into its success as a public service media outlet on Hawai'i Island from 2011 to 2020, and helped schools in Kaʻū and elsewhere with many productions, including virtual graduation ceremonies, has agreed to plead guilty to embezzlement and bribery on federal charges.     
    According to a story in Honolulu Star Advertiser on Saturday, the case involves Hanalei Aipoalani, who is serving three years and 10 months in prison after taking a plea deal with the federal government for embezzlement and accepting a bribe. 
Stacy Higa, right,  interviewing former Mayor Harry Kim
on Higa's Nā Leo TV show Aupuni Connections a year ago.
  Charges against Higa were filed Sept. 2 in District of Columbia, U.S. District Court. They say Higa bribed Apiolana to help land CARES Act grants totaling $845,000. Apiolana was a CARES Act administrator for Honolulu. He also served as Human Resources director for Olelo, the public television on O'ahu.
    The charges state Higa fraudulently took $38,642 in AmeriCorps funds from the Hawai'i Commission for National and Community Services.
    Higa is a former County Councilman, and recent candidate for Mayor of Hawai'i County,       
    Higa's attorney William Harrison told The Honolulu Star Advertiser that Higa "will take full responsibility for mistakes and bad decisions that he has made. He expresses that with a heavy heart; he sincerely apologizes to the community, friends and especially his family for his inappropriate conduct. He is prepared to face the consequences of his actions and begin to repair the trust he has broken.”

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

THE MILEAGE PROJECT - MAPPING KILAUEA'S GAS EMISSIONS is the title of this week's Volcano Watch, written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. This week’s article is by HVO summer field assistant Karissa Rosenberger:
    Large quantities of volcanic gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), are released into the atmosphere during volcanic eruptions. But even between eruptions, smaller amounts of the same gases continue to escape and can provide important clues about the current state of the volcano and the underlying magma. But to measure them, you first must identify where gas is coming from.
    Surveys of the gas emissions from the Kīlauea caldera have been done in the past but never of the entire caldera at one time. And none had been done after the 2018 eruption and collapse events—at least not until this year.
    Over the summer of 2021, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a detailed gas survey of the caldera floor and rim in order to understand the distribution of current emissions. The results will be compared to previous surveys; if differences are detected, they may indicate that the plumbing system of Kīlauea’s summit has changed because of the 2018 collapses.
    Measurements of volcanic gases can be done using a MultiGAS instrument, which pumps in air and then records the concentrations of CO2, SO2, and H2S, plus water vapor, in parts per million (ppm).

Before the backpack program, a stationary MultiGAS instrument
on the edge of Kilauea Crater in 2018. USGS photo
    These MultiGAS instruments can be permanently stationed at an area of interest, strapped to a backpack frame, or mounted on a UAS (Unoccupied Aircraft Systems), depending on the location and type of data needed.
    For the gas mapping that occurred in the Kīlauea caldera this summer, two MultiGAS instruments were mounted on backpack frames and HVO scientists walked transects in and around the caldera while continuously collecting data. These lines were spaced 25 to 50 meters (75-150 feet) apart and covered areas of the caldera rim, the caldera floor, and the down-dropped block that collapsed during the 2018 eruption.  
   Even though the survey covered the whole caldera floor, there were also clues that hinted where the best spot to focus on would be. Often gas emissions are concentrated along cracks or holes in the ground which provide the gas an easy path to the surface. Visible plumes can be seen in various parts of the caldera floor and at the Haʻakulamanu (Sulphur Banks) and Steam Vents areas in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Visible plumes of gas like this are often good indicators of where the gas concentrations may be elevated.
    As gases rise towards the surface from the magma below, they interact with and alter the rocks in the area, resulting in color changes. Looking for this altered rock is another way to identify areas that may have elevated gas emissions.
    The scientists also collected gas samples from areas that had elevated concentrations of CO2 for later laboratory analyses. A large, plastic syringe was used to collect the sample which was then transferred to a foil bag designed for holding gas. The majority of the samples were collected on the down-dropped block, as that area showed the highest concentrations of CO2.
    Chemical analyses of the different forms (isotopes) of carbon in the CO2 from these samples can provide information about where the magma that is releasing these gases is located, and whether it is new, deep magma that has never degassed before, or older magma that had already been stored for some time in Kīlauea’s plumbing system.
    While the caldera floor mapping is now complete, the walls and floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater have not yet been mapped and are the site of many visible gas vents. These areas are impossible to traverse by foot, so the next step is to use a UAS-mounted MultiGAS to measure gases there, with permission of the National Park Service.
      HVO scientists will produce a new map of gas emissions in Kīlauea caldera using the data collected this summer. The map will be key to determining if gas pathways from deep magma to the surface were changed by the collapses in 2018. An updated understanding of gas emission locations across the caldera is essential for HVO’s ongoing gas monitoring. This refined gas emission map will also provide a critical benchmark of gas sources and concentrations that can be monitored for anomalous behavior. The ability to detect changes could also potentially allow HVO to better prepare for eruptions in the future.

    To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.
FOR THE COVID COUNT, Hawai'i County Civil Defense and the Department of Health report 111 new cases with 1,432 active cases and 51 persons hospitalized on this island.

Read the entire Kaʻū Calendar and back issues at 
www.kaucalendar.com. Find it in the mail from Volcano
through Nāʻālehu, Ocean View to Miloli'i.
Pick it up from newsstands.

KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL & VISITOR CENTER. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

PUNALUʻU BAKESHOP online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week in x.

ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing alihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE COMPANY. Order online at aikaneplantation.com. Call 808-927-2252

MIRANDA'S FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE. Order online at mirandafarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy.  See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com..

KUAHIWI RANCH STORE, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass-fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email kaohi@kuahiwiranch.com.

HOPE DIA-MEND MINISTRIES holds outdoor services Sundays at 9:45 a.m. at 92-898 Ginger Blossom Lane in Ocean View. Masks and distancing required. For help and/or to donate, call or text 808-937-6355, or call the Ministry at 808-920-8137. See Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? Call Department of Health's expanded Hawai‘i C.A.R.E.S. program at 1-800-753-6879 – the same number previously used by Crisis Line of Hawai‘i. Individuals in crisis can also text ALOHA to 741741, available 24/7.

LEARN SELF-CARE THROUGH Big Island Substance Abuse Council's Practice Self-Care Series. For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at facebook.com/bhhsurg

WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE OFFERS HEALTH PROGRAMS. Piko focuses on reproductive health; increasing access, respect, cultural competence, education, and choice. Pilina aims to grow membership and establish a culture of collaborative decision-making. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.com. Call 808-450-0498.

YOGA WITH EMILY Catey Weiss, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration required; $5 per class. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222.

CHOOSE ALOHA FOR HOME is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together using neuroscience and positive psychology. Program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics." Sign up at chooselovemovement.org/choose-love-home.

Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org or info@bgcbi.org.

ʻOhana Help Desk offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads at rb.gy/8er9wm. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Invite Park Rangers to Virtually Visit Classes, through connecting with teachers and home-schoolers with distance learning programs and virtual huakaʻi (field trips). Contact havo_education@nps.gov.

Weekly Virtual Town Meetings, hosted by https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory High & Pāhala Elementary, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Discussion topics include attendance, best practices, Grab-n-Go meals, school updates, questions and feedback, and more. Go to KHPES.org for Live WebEx link.

Public Libraries are open for WiFi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. WiFi available to anyone with a library card, from each library parking lot. See librarieshawaii.org.

Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books replenished weekly at both sites.

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.
View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through Papakilo Database, papakilodatabase.com.
Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov. Ask questions and discuss all things legislative in a non-partisan environment. Attend Coffee Hour with PAR: Fridays at 3 p.m. on Zoom, meeting ID 990 4865 9652 or click zoom.us/j/99048659652. PAR staff will be available to answer questions and to discuss the legislative process. Anyone wanting to listen in without taking part in discussions is welcome. Learn more at lrb.hawaii.gov/public-access-room.

Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.

Food Assistance: Apply for The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences COVID-19 Family Relief Funds. Funded by Volcano Community Association, and members of the VSAS Friends and Governing Boards, who have donated, the fund supplies KTA or Dimple Cheek Gift Cards, or gift cards to other locally owned business, to VSAS families in need. Contact Kim Miller at 985-8537, kmiller@volcanoschool.net. Contributions to the fund can be sent in by check to: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785 – write Relief Fund in the memo. See volcanoschool.net

ENROLL CHILDREN, from first through eighth grade, in Kula ʻAmakihi, a program from Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences. It started Aug. 3. Call 808-985- 9800 or visit www.volcanoschool.net.

REGISTER FOR THE KA‘Ū COFFEE TRAIL RUN, which returns on Saturday, Sept. 18. See more on the OKK event at https://www.kaucoffeetrailruns.com/

WALK THROUGH A GUIDED NATURE TRAIL & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email programs@volcanoartcenter.org. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanoartcenter.org. Call 967-8222.

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Nāʻālehu. It features and sells works by local artists and offers other gift items.Vendor applications are being accepted for its Holiday Arts & Crafts Sale on Saturday, Nov. 13. Kaʻū Art Gallery's website has 24/7 access online and is frequently updated to show current inventory items. "We are always looking to collaborate with local artists in our community," said assistant Alexandra Kaupu. Artists with an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz.

GOLF & MEMBERSHIPS for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse: The Club offers Social Memberships, with future use of the clubhouse and current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramiocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities.Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email clubatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Kaʻū Main Street, is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., grounds of Kauahaʻao Congregational Church 95-1642 Pinao St. in Waiʻohinu, corner of Kamaoa and Hwy 11. Farmers Market, Arts & Crafts, Health Practitioners, Food, Music, Yoga, Keiki Fun & More. Inquiries: AlohaFridayMarket@gmail.com.

VOLCANO FARMERS MARKET, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Hawai‘i Coffee. Cooper Center's EBT Machine, used at the Farmer's Market, is out of service until further notice. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY MARKET, open Saturdays and Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Managed by Mark Council. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in upper lot only. Vendors must provide own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling encouraged.

O KAʻŪ KĀKOU MARKET, in Nāʻālehu, open Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers per hour, 20 vendor booths, with 20 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing required, social distancing enforced. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374 (voice or text) or kaufarmer@aol.com for more and to apply to vend. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

OCEAN VIEW SWAP MEET is open at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.


VOLCANO ART CENTER ONLINE, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222.